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Which Animals Use Tools?

The octopus is the only invertebrate that is known to use tools. Scientists discovered in 2009 that octopuses stack and carry coconut shell halves to make a protective shelter — portable body armor, if you will. Before this discovery, it was assumed that only humans and other vertebrates, like primates, birds, and elephants, used tools.

More on animals using tools:

  • Egyptian vultures are known to use rocks as hammers to smash open ostrich eggs. This is considered different from other birds dropping eggs to break them, since those birds do not actually manipulate the tool with their body.

  • Orangutans are able to learn how to pick locks using only a paper clip.

  • Sea otters are often seen carrying around rocks, which they use to pound open stubborn shellfish.
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